Company Bars Billboard Calling out LeBron James Over China ‘Silence’

lebron james

Getty LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers.

With the NBA Finals in full swing, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has his hands pretty full right now. However, he’s still remained political throughout. While he’s very active in U.S. politics, he’s come under hot water multiple times over the last year for choosing to not be critical of China over the Hong Kong protests.

Many people have called out James for staying quiet and one organization tried to take it even further. According to the New York Post, The Virginia-based National Legal and Policy Center was willing to spend “several hundred thousand dollars” to put up several billboards with the image below.

The billboards were to be put up in Orlando, Florida, where the NBA bubble is currently in place. However, Outfront Media denied the request to put up the billboards as they were apprehensive to upset the international superstar.

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Organization Believes They Should Be Able to Call out LeBron

While the organization had their plans thwarted, they don’t believe that Outfront Media made the right decision.

Isabel Vincent of the New York Post wrote:

But the conservative think tank is standing its ground. “Some messages are too important to be suppressed,” said Peter Flaherty, chairman of NLPC. “When it comes to human rights in China, silence is indeed violence. We should be able to call LeBron on his hypocrisy without this censorship.”

The reason people often bring up China when talking about James is because of comments he made about Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey back in 2019. The Lakers star questioned Morey’s decision to tweet a “Justice for Hong Kong” message while players were playing games in China. It was notable that he was critical of Morey while ignoring the issue surrounding Hong Kong.

Vincent mentioned another NLPC official that blasted James:

Another NLPC official, Tom Anderson, said, “It’s utterly amazing LeBron James can buy a $36 million Beverly Hills mansion from a bubble designed to cut him off from the outside world yet he can’t find a way to champion basic human rights for all people, including those suffering under the Communist regime of China.”

Rudy Gobert First NBA Player to Be Critical of China

The NBA has a lot invested in China and the country has become a big moneymaker for the league. However, the league has become increasingly political but they still have yet to condemn China. That changed recently as Utah Jazz All-Star Rudy Gobert decided to go against the grain and called out China for their treatment of the Uygurs.

Gobert simply said “wrong is wrong” while linking a story about how the Uyghur Muslims are treated in China. There hasn’t been any word on potential retaliation from China just yet. The country still bans Rockets games due to Morey’s comments so they likely won’t be very happy with Gobert. This is a delicate situation for the NBA but it is one they need to figure out because public pressure isn’t going to go away anytime soon.

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